Good Morning, AFC North!

Good Morning, AFC North!
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Bengals choose Jason Campbell over Ryan Fitzpatrick

In the past three season, Fitzpatrick has completed 62 percent of his passes, thrown for nearly 9,700 yards and 72 touchdowns — a passer rating of 83.9.On the other hand, in two of the past three seasons.

Jason Campbell failed to reach a passer rating of 80. Only once (2009) did he reach 20 touchdowns, even with four seasons of 12 starts or more. In fairness, Campbell played well during his final season with Oakland, was a backup in Chicago during the ’12 season and played for the Browns last year.

The Bengals and new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, appear to have chosen familiarity over statistics. Campbell was off to a a solid season in Oakland as the starter in 2011, before a broken collarbone landed him on IR. He’s languished before and after his time in Oakland, but finds himself reunited with his former head coach on an offense full of talent.





Offensive lineman Paul McQuistan, defensive end Alex Carrington pay Browns free-agent visits

McQuistan, 30, entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (69th overall) of the Oakland Raiders in 2006. He actually served as a backup for the Browns in 2010 but did not play. Since leaving the Browns for the Seahawks in 2011, he has shown versatility and started 40 of the 48 regular-season games in which he has appeared.

If the Browns sign Carrington, they would add a young player who’s familiar with Pettine’s 3-4, hybrid scheme. He would likely be used in a rotation with Desmond Bryant and Ahtyba Rubin, the projected starting ends.

The Browns have been very active since free agency kicked off March 11. But as of Wednesday, they had $31.8 million under the salary cap,

While the Steelers can offer Carrington a more significant role due to a lack of depth on the defensive line, Carrington, who postponed his visit to the D-line wealthy Rams, followed through with his visit to the Browns, who also have plenty of D-line depth. Perhaps Pettine’s reputation among players is enough to recruit talented players.





Ravens Make Two Coaching Moves

Chris Hewitt will become the assistant secondary coach and the team has hired a new cross-training specialist, Billy DeLorbe.

Hewitt spent the past two years as the Ravens’ assistant special teams coach, helping Associate Head Coach/Special Teams Coordinator Jerry Rosburg. Hewitt will now work along with new Assistant Head Coach/Secondary Coach Steve Spagnuolo.

DeLorbe is entering his first year in the NFL. He spent the past 10 years as a master personal trainer at the Maryland Athletic Club. As a cross-training specialist, DeLorbe will focus on boosting players’ flexibility and mobility with an emphasis on core strengthening and improved balance.

Already boasting a somewhat bloated roster of coaches, adding titles and hiring a new coach altogether could potentially lead to a lack of accountability on the staff and a mixed message to players. The offensive line seemed to suffer from conflicting, or at the very least, superfluous, influences last season, and their performance partly reflected that. That said, any advantage a team can take to promote health, endurance and quick recovery times is invaluable in today’s NFL.





Maurice Jones-Drew to meet again with Steelers Thursday

Building the ground game over the passing game will help quarterback Ben Roethlisberger be the best kind of player he is – making the most out of each pass he’s given, and playing spontaneously, knowing his offensive line and running game will get him close enough to the first down sticks he can use any one of several passing options – including those running backs – in whatever manner he’d like.

There is as much indication it’s simply a tire-kicking conversation on both sides as there is genuine interest coming from Pittsburgh in his services.

Conversations must have progressed well enough Wednesday for Jones-Drew to continue the visit. I believed he may value himself as a full-time starter, and therefore, be seeking a non-trivial salary in addition to the majority of playing time. If he’s willing to accept a backup role, a one-two punch of Bell and Jones-Drew would be formidable. Ben becomes all the more dangerous when the Steelers aren’t forced to be one-dimensional and stick with the pass.



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